Fungi play a key role in the story of life
A lot of people like to eat mushrooms. But less know how important fungi are for life on this planet. And how they can change the future of our food system. Mycologist Merlin Sheldrake writes about fungi’s importance in his bestselling book “Entangled Life” and gives a hint on his research in this video portrait from “Deutsche Welle”.
17 May, 2022 by
Fungi play a key role in the story of life
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

Are fungi animals? Of course not. Plants? Not either. In the kingdom of life, fungi form their own broad category. “We think of mushrooms when we think of fungi, but most fungi don’t actually produce mushrooms. The ones that do produce mushrooms to spread their spores, so mushrooms are a kind of fruit,” says Merlin Sheldrake, biologist and best-selling author of “Entangled Life”.

Fungi are everywhere – in the ground, in the air, in our bodies – and they are indispensable for all forms of life and make it possible on this planet. But how do they live exactly?

“Most fungi live most of their lives as mycelia which are branching, tubular cells,” says Sheldrake. Mycelia can be microscopic, existing only as tiny mold fungi on specks of dust. But they can also be huge. One of the world’s largest organisms is a network of mycelia over 2000 years old in Oregon which covers an area of nine square kilometers.

In his book “Entangled Life”, Merlin Sheldrake describes how fungi can change our future of food. He is also speaking at the 2nd International Food Innovation Conference, die am 15. Juni 2022 am Gottlieb Duttweiler Institut stattfindet.

 
 


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